Playing from behind most of the night, the Spokane Chiefs turned to their leading scorer Saturday night to tie the game, and Kailer Yamamoto also delivered in overtime to earn a 3-2 win over the red-hot Everett Silvertips.
The Western Hockey League game was the fourth straight that the Chiefs took to overtime. However, Spokane (7-6-4-1, 19 points) lost all three prior to Saturday night’s victory at the Arena.
“That feels good to win a game in overtime,” Chiefs head coach Don Nachbaur said. “Right down to the wire again. But we did a lot of good things. That’s a good team over there.”
The Silvertips (14-2-3-0, 31 points) came in riding a six-game winning streak. So far this season, Everett has only lost five times and two losses were to the Chiefs.
“Everett is red hot, but so are we,” Nachbaur said. “We are just started to get to be more competitive. That’s the key.”
Both teams had chances, but the first period remained scoreless until 1:33 remaining when Everett’s Riley Sutter fired a shot that was redirected into the net by Spencer Gerth to give the Silvertips a 1-0 lead.
But just more than a minute later, with 23 seconds remaining in the period, Yamamoto fired a nifty pass to Markson Bechtold, who hammered the puck past Everett Goalie Carter Hart to tie the game.
“Kailer made a heckuva pass and I was fortunate to get it past Hart,” Bechtold said.
The Silvertips came out in the second period peppering the puck at Spokane goalie Dawson Weatherill.
Near the halfway point of the period, Everett’s Noah Juulsen got free with the puck and fired a long-distance dedication that flew right past Weatherill into the net to give the Silvertips a 2-1 lead.
Almost 4 minutes into the final period, defenseman sensation Ty Smith found Kailer just inside the blue line and Yamamoto slammed it past Hart for his 14th goal of the season.
“It was a pretty great shot by Kailer,” Smith said. “He couldn’t have put it in a better place.”
The teams battled for every puck and both squads had multiple chances that didn’t materialize. However, Spokane stayed aggressive and ended up with a 33-18 advantage in shots on goal.
In overtime, Everett’s Matt Fonteyne was called for interference, which gave Spokane a 4-on-3 power play.
With about 40 seconds remaining in the advantage, Smith again found Yamamoto and he fired another laser past Hart for the win and his 15th goal of the season.
“He wanted the puck and we had good position,” Smith said. “I tried to put it in his wheelhouse and it was another amazing shot.”
The Chiefs stay home to face U.S Division rival Seattle at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday in the Arena.
“It’s definitely taken a while to click as a team,” Bechtold said. “But I think hanging in there in a lot of these games shows that we are headed in the right direction.”
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